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Archive for March, 2012

Palm Sunday

11am Blessing of Palms, Procession from Priory Centre & Sung Eucharist

This re-enacts the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem: we begin  by hearing the ‘Palm Gospel’ about this entrance, and receive our own Palm crosses. We ask God’s blessing on them and us, and then walk through the courtyard singing to God and proclaiming the glory of Christ’s lowly and yet triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Our service in church continues with the opening prayer. As during Holy Week as a whole, the ‘mood’ of the service changes dramatically halfway through from one of joyful celebration to the cries of ‘crucify’ as we hear together the Passion Gospel of Christ’s last week, proclaimed and read ‘dramatically’ by a group of us. The Communion continues as usual.

In Wales this Sunday is called Sul Y Blodau and traditionally is when people put flowers on their deceased relatives graves. Please do remember to clear flowers from the Garden of Rest after they have died.

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As you read this we shall be in Passiontide, and our minds will be firmly set on the Cross and our Lord’s Crucifixion. It is this single act which separates the God we Christian’s believe in from all other gods. Or God loved us so much that he was prepared to die the most cruel death on the cross for us – and in so doing tearing apart the totally united Trinity. For God  the Son this was the most terrible price to pay to be totally separate from the Trinity within which he is one.
How do we show our appreciation for that act? Do we feel called to give sacrificially in return. To give back to God, what is after all his, after his after we have done all we want with it, or is God and his Church  the first call on our time, gifts and money? In the Book of Deuteronomy God calls on the early Israelites to give the first fruits to him as an offering. The first of the harvest they pick, not the what is left over of the harvest after they have satisfied themselves.
As God was sacrificial, are we prepared to be sacrificial in return?
I want to take this opportunity – as we approach our Annual Vestry Meetings to say thank you to you all for all you do for the church in this place. Especially I want to thank the Wardens, PCC members and all who hold office so that the church may be properly administered. I encourage to attend your Vestry Meeting and be part of electing new officials and holding old officials to account.
May you have a blessed Holy Week & Easter
Mark

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Observant visitors to to the Lewis Chapel will have seen two rather strange measuring devices.

Officials of Newport City Museum have installed two of these gadgets to check on the temperature variations in the Chapel to see if we can house  a 17th Century Dutch Painting on loan from the National Art Collection.

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It has been decided to mark Fr Jeremy Winston’s first birthday since his death with a Celebratory Lunch at the Priory Centre.

Tickets for the Lunch on his Birthday (Sunday, May 20th) will be sold to raise funds for his Memorial Fund.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Vicarage on (01873)853168 or email vicar@stmarys-priory.org.

 

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Fr John (Ass Priest) veils the crosses in preparation for Passiontide, assisted by Mrs Sheila Davies (Warden)

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We have been donated a County Flag of Monmouthshire to fly from our flag poll.

The flag was developed in association with the Flag Institute by the   Monmouthshire Association,  whose Patron is the Bishop of Monmouth.

The design is based on the arms attributed to the ancient kingdom of Gwent.

The Vicar, Fr Mark Soady said, “We are proud to fly this flag from the tower on appropriate days.”

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On the Day HM The Queen unveiled a new stained glass window at Westminster Hall presented  by Members of Parliament to mark Her Majesty’s Jubilee, we can confirm that its designer John Reyntier, is among the designers being considered for new windows in the Lewis Chapel.


Although we are at an early stage in the process, we are hoping to reinstate the four windows in the Lewis Chapel, probably starting with the large East Window.

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